Russian leader: Ukraine's attempts to spur 2018 World Cup boycott will fail

Attempts to boycott the 2018 World Cup in Russia are doomed to fail, the Russian Football Union's former president Vyacheslav Koloskov says.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has called on his country's allies to boycott FIFA's biggest event while pro-Russian separatists occupy portions of his country. Shakhtar Donetsk have played 1,200 kilometres away from their home city this season because of the conflict.

Poroshenko, who is in Germany to ask Chancellor Angela Merkel for tougher sanctions on Russia in response to what he called repeated violations of the ceasefire that Merkel helped to implement in February, wrote on Twitter on Monday that: "While ever there are Russian forces in Ukraine, I believe that holding the World Cup in that country is not possible."

But Koloskov, a former FIFA vice president who ran Russian football from 1992-2005 and now serves in an honourary capacity, said Poroshenko's effort would fail much like the calls to boycott last year's Winter Olympics in Sochi over objections to Russia's anti-gay propaganda laws.

"In terms of a boycott, unfortunately Poroshenko is not the first person to talk about this," Koloskov told Reuters. "There were also attempts to boycott the Winter Olympics. No one was able to do anything then and I think exactly the same will happen with regards to the World Cup.

"[FIFA president] Sepp Blatter often says that politics is politics and football is football. Of course he will not allow a boycott to happen. In Ukraine they don't know anymore what they are trying to achieve. First one thing, then another, then a third thing.

"They are not managing to achieve anything. We will host the 2018 World Cup and we will host it well."

Koloskov said he did not believe the situation was similar to the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, when the United States led a boycott protesting the Soviet Union's war in Afghanistan.

"I would not want to compare things with the 1980 Olympics when a number of countries boycotted it due to political motives," he added.

Blatter said last year that "a boycott in sport never has had any benefit."

Koloskov said he believed FIFA would ban any country that boycotted the World Cup from attending the following tournament in Qatar in 2022.

"FIFA is very strict in this aspect," he said. "I don't think anyone will be risking a boycott given the likely consequences."

Sebastian Coe, the former chairman of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games in 2012, also warned against a boycott

"I will always oppose boycotts of sport, because I don't think they actually achieve what they set out to do," said Coe. "The only people they really damage are competitors and athletes."